To view this page ensure that Adobe Flash Player version 11.1.0 or greater is installed.
O ph t h a l m o lo g y
More Frequent Testing May Lead to Earlier Detection of
“If patients are seen regularly and comply with their doctor’s
instructions, the chances of going blind from glaucoma are
actually very low.”
Glaucoma is the second-most-common cause
of irreversible blindness in the United States.
It develops when pressure inside the eye is
too high for the optic nerve to tolerate over
the long run. The prevalence of this chronic
disease increases with age, affecting nearly
1 percent of people 40 years and older and
2-to-4 percent of people 65 years and older.
WWW.UCLAHEALTH.ORG There is no cure, but further vision loss
can be prevented if disease progression is
detected early and appropriate treatment
“When you lose optic-nerve fibers from glaucoma,
whatever is lost is lost forever,” says
ophthalmologist Kouros Nouri-Mahdavi,
M.D., M.Sc., a glaucoma specialist at the
Jules Stein Eye Institute (JSEI) at UCLA.
“Even when patients know they have
glaucoma, they really cannot tell if it’s
getting worse because the damage is
The front part of the eye is filled with fluid.
This fluid is constantly secreted into the
eye, circulates and then drains from the eye.
Anything that impedes the flow of this fluid
out of the eye causes pressure to build up,
which can damage the optic nerve. With
progressing loss of nerve fibers over time,
the appearance of the optic nerve begins to
change. Optic-nerve injury from glaucoma